Photo courtesy of ACR Health
On Sunday, June 4, Central New York’s premier AIDS event, ACR Health’s AIDS Walk/Run, celebrated 25 years of successful fundraising with a rally and an inspiring trek through scenic trails of Beaver Lake Nature Center, raising $132,098 despite a steady rain.
The AIDS Walk/Run started in 1993 during AIDS’ darkest days. That year, 14,646 New Yorkers would learn that they had AIDS. Never again would the number of new infections be as high.
Today, due to New York’s aggressive blueprint to End AIDS, there is a 79 percent decrease in new HIV cases in New York over the past 25 years. Money raised at the AIDS Walk/Run, $2.75 million and counting, contributes to that success, as it has always been invested in youth prevention education programming; emergency client needs; and used to raise awareness about HIV prevention and the need to be tested.
The primary cause of HIV transmission is by individuals who have HIV and don’t know it, thereby unintentionally infecting their sexual partners. ACR Health has greatly expanded HIV testing which is a priority for ending AIDS. ACR Health testing is up 545 percent in 2017 compared to 2012.
Latest HIV numbers from Onondaga County (2015) are:
“Those HIV numbers represent the lives of 34 people whose infections could have been prevented,” said ACR Health Director of Prevention-Community Initiatives John Arcaro, who oversees testing. “HIV can be treated effectively, and lower the risk of passing the virus to others.”
“I am humbled by the knowledge of all the favorable, life-changing consequences the AIDS Walk/Run has brought to Central New York,” said Wil Murtaugh, Executive Director of ACR Health, who founded the AIDS Walk/Run. “I anticipate the day, not too far off now, when we can declare the End of the AIDS Epidemic in New York.”
The 25th Annual AIDS Walk/Run would not have been possible without the following: